Shirt-making Company in Kentucky Wins Discrimination Cased Based on Technicality

Another company that decides to deny services to members of the LGBT community wins its case in court. In Kentucky, a Christian business owner of Hands On, a shirt making company, had refused to print shirts for the local LGBT pride festival several years back. The owner of the shirt making company, Blaine Adamson, stated that the message the shirts were to say conflicted with his Christian beliefs, “I will work with any person, no matter who they are, and no matter what their belief systems are. But when I am presented with a message that conflicts with my faith, that is not something I can print.” In 2014, on the premise of discrimination, the local government had ruled against Adamson and ordered him to take diversity training. Adamson challenged this ruling, and in 2017 won in a Kentucky court. The human rights commission appealed to the state supreme court, and on Thursday Adamson won again but this time on a technicality. While it was clearly discriminatory in nature, the case was thrown out solely based on the fact that a group filed the claim of discrimination. The court pointed out that the city’s discrimination ordinance pertains to discriminating against individuals, “and in this case, because an ‘individual’ did not file the claim, but rather an organization did, we would have to determine whether the organization is a member of the protected class, which we find impossible to ascertain.” This was not the first case regarding refusal of services to LGBT members based on religion, but unfortunately, this one was only judged on a legal technicality.